OpenAI, a leading entity in the field of artificial intelligence, has recently announced the launch of the OpenAI Red Teaming Network. The initiative represents a formal effort to bolster the safety and reliability of its AI models.
Red teaming is a methodology where external experts evaluate the weaknesses and potential vulnerabilities in a system. The practice is increasingly important as AI technologies like text-generating models and image-generation software come under scrutiny for biases and other safety issues.
OpenAI has a history of working with external researchers and participants in its bug bounty and researcher access programs. However, the Red Teaming Network formalizes these efforts with the aim of collaborating more closely with scientists, research institutions, and civil society organizations.
Members of the Red Teaming Network will engage with OpenAI at various stages of model and product development. They will also have opportunities to discuss general red teaming practices and findings among themselves. The time commitment from each member will be negotiated individually.
OpenAI is looking for a diverse range of domain experts, from linguistics and biometrics to finance and healthcare. No prior experience with AI systems is required, but participants may need to sign non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements.
Some critics argue that red teaming alone may not suffice. Aviv Ovadya, an affiliate with Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center and the Centre for the Governance of AI, suggests that "violet teaming" could be a more comprehensive approach. Violet teaming focuses on identifying systemic harms to institutions and the public good and then developing tools to mitigate these issues. The debate continues as to whether there's sufficient incentive to slow down AI releases for such comprehensive evaluations.
While the OpenAI Red Teaming Network is a significant step towards ensuring safer and more reliable AI systems, questions remain as to whether this methodology alone can address the complex issues surrounding AI ethics and safety.
For now, the Red Teaming Network may be the best we can get in the ongoing effort to make AI technologies more robust and reliable.